Recognition of psychological and cognitive impairments in the emergency department

Gary L. Litovitz, Mary Hedberg, Thomas N. Wise, J. Douglas White, Lee S. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ninety-six patients presenting to a university hospital emergency department were screened before triage for psychological symptoms or cognitive impairment using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and Mini-Mental State examination (MMS). Charts were reviewed for demographic information and emergency physicians' recognition of psychological symptoms or cognitive dysfunction. Of the patients studied, 38% had positive results on the GHQ, and 18% had positive results on the MMS. Psychological symptoms or cognitive impairments were recognized by the emergency physicians in only 8% of those with positive GHQ results and 6% of those with positive MMS results. The usefulness of screening measures for psychological symptoms and cognitive impairment of emergency department patients is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-402
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency department
  • organicity
  • psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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